IDC: Demand for server software to grow

Revenue is expected to reach US$2.9 billion in 2010, driven mainly by strong growth in emerging markets, especially China and India.

SINGAPORE--The server and client operating system (OS) software market in the region is expected to see strong growth to reach US$2.9 billion in 2010, according to IDC.

The research company predicted that revenues for the Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan, server and client OS software market will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.4 percent over the next five years.

According to a new IDC study, total revenues reached US$1.86 billion in 2005 for this market segment, which is poised to grow steadily in both license unit shipment and revenue.

The analyst predicted that overall growth will come mainly from emerging markets, especially China and India which are projected to garner revenues worth US$1.03 billion and US$465.7 million, respectively, in 2010.

The study also projected that most developing Asean countries will perform well over the five-year timeframe. Developed markets, namely Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore, however will only account for marginal growth in the server and client OS software market.

Kitcha Ing-udomnoogoon, research and consulting manager at IDC Thailand, said business expansion throughout the region will continue to trigger demand for computing hardware and underlying OS software, depending on the level of economic maturity and pace of development.

He also observed that the study findings confirmed user preference is gravitating toward x86 systems, as witnessed by "impressive revenue growth" of both the Windows and Linux platforms.

Kitcha explained: "Factors contributing to the growth of server operating environment software are increased IT investments from the SMB (small and midsize business) segment, flexible licensing schemes to attract more legal purchases, and integration and consolidation trends, among others."

He noted that the client server OS software market is also driven by campaigns promoting low-cost PCs and notebooks have resulted in higher PC consumption in demographically large, and fragmented lower-income populations across the Asia-Pacific region.

Major client operating environment software vendors, he added, have reacted to this growth by offering attractive prices for their software products. "[The] relevant [government] agencies, together with vendors, have taken serious actions to lower piracy and license abuses by keeping a close watch and imposing heavy penalties [on offenders]," Kitcha said.

Major growth factors driving the server OS software market, include positive macro economic indicators in most countries, consistent server penetration growth in the SMB segment, product-upgrade cycles, growing Linux server shipments and emerging technologies, such as virtualization.

In the client OS software market, long-term government commitments to drive PC penetration rates, fast development in hardware and multimedia technologies and the upcoming release of Microsoft's Windows Vista, are expected to contribute significantly to the market growth over the forecast period, IDC said.